Cancer Education

More than 150,000 people with cancer come to a Mayo Clinic site annually. Patients benefit from the knowledge and extensive experience of Mayo Clinic specialists and integrated approach to treating each individual.  Reliable, up-to-date education is central to a patient’s cancer care plan.

Mayo Clinic provides information and resources to support patients during diagnosis, treatment and life after treatment. Knowledge empowers people to be active partners in their health care.

Mar 30, 2020

Another Reason to Wear a Mask during COVID-19

By Megan Roessler M. Ed., @meganroessler


We are all thinking about masks these days like we never have before.  We see people out in public wearing them.  We hear every news outlet talking about how very critical they are in the medical setting.  All those who work in supply chain are feeling the demand.  Some businesses are getting very creative in changing what they manufacture to help meet the need.  We are hearing of individuals sewing masks in their homes and people are saying it is reminiscent of the Rosie the Riveter efforts seen during World War II.  There is lots of debate about what qualifies as a truly protective mask.

I heard a doctor from New York, where they are truly in an epicenter of COVID-19 pandemic, speaking of ways we can protect ourselves from infection and gave a new way of thinking about wearing a face mask.  He spoke about the transmission of the virus and what steps we can take for protection.  Number ONE on the list is WASH YOUR HANDS!  Clean hands are key in stopping transmission.  Lucky for us soap is a perfect weapon against COVID-19 as it is not very sturdy once soap and water come in contact with the virus.  As far as wearing a mask - he said that one of the really important purposes of the mask is to prevent you from touching your face or rather it makes you more aware when you do touch your face.  Very specifically our eyes, nose and mouth.  We touch our faces so much more than we realize.  Whether it is an itch, a gesture, or how we may rest our chin on our hand when listening to someone.  Watch a person in your household and see how many times they touch their face.  Of course it is easier to observe and evaluate someone else's behavior as compared to examining our own behavior!  If you are going to the store, or some other necessary outing, it may be beneficial to wear a mask, even if it is a simple bandana to thwart your habit of touching your face.  A protective mask would be the best barrier, but if you are unable to find one, wearing an alternative will help you be more conscious of your hands.  View it as a way to cultivate a newer, healthier, protective habit for yourself.

What extra measures are you taking to protect you and your family?

Listen to this interesing podcast by Dr. Poland, an infectious disease expert at Mayo Clinic, speaking about COVID-19.

For up to date recommendations, please visit the CDC.

Talk with others who are discussing protective and coping strategies in the COVID-19 support group.


Since this blog post was published the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has published an expanded version of their guidance on cloth face masks.

Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19

The information includes:
– How to Wear a Cloth Face Covering
– Should cloth face coverings be washed or otherwise cleaned regularly? How regularly?
– How does one safely sterilize/clean a cloth face covering?
– How does one safely remove a used cloth face covering?
– Instructions on how to make a cloth mask

Also see these links
– Recommendation Regarding the Use of Cloth Face Coverings, Especially in Areas of Significant Community-Based Transmission
– Cloth Face Coverings: Questions and Answers


Here's more information on homemade masks and a video featuring Dr. Poland on homemade masks.

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